7th September

A New Page

You have been raised to life with Christ, so set your hearts on the things that are of heaven. Colossians 3: 1

The resurrection of Christ turned the page of human history. It can also bring a new page in to our tatty and tattered lives.

In the Book of Kells there is no picture of the resurrection but only the word ‘Una’, in the centre of the page, to denote the first day of the week, the day of resurrection. George Otto Sims describes the resurrection page of that book as follows:

Angels are guarding the capital letter U, one at each of its four corners. It looks at first like a dark, dull page, but out of the dim gloom the feet, the hands and the faces of the four angels, painted with white lead, shine out gleaming and bright. These angels are looking up and out from the page … They are alive and alert, not asleep, nor downcast. Their message is ‘Christ is risen, he is not here. Why look for the living among the dead?’

We also observe, in the top right-hand corner, that the fierce monster is speeding away out of the picture. The power of this enemy has been overcome. The beast is on his way out, defeated … The capital U, with a tangle of graceful birds in the heart of the letter, and surrounded by guardian angels, helps us to have a picture in our minds of the empty tomb on the first Easter Day.
George Otto Simms in Exploring the Book of Kells Dublin 1988.

Last night Christ the Sun rose from the dark.
The mystic harvest of the fields of God
And now the little wandering tribes of bees
Are brawling in the scarlet flowers abroad.
The winds are soft with bird song all night long
Darkling the nightingale her descant told
And now inside church doors the happy folk
The Alleluia chant a hundredfold.
O Father of your folk, be yours by right
The Easter joy, the threshold of the light.
Sedulius Scottus